January – March 2022 Wellness Challenge

Photo of a stack of books

An activity that may get pushed to the side due to the lure of social media or binge-watching a TV show is reading a physical book. According to Healthline there are many benefits of reading, and there are even more benefits of reading a physical book versus reading on a tablet.

Strengthens brain and reduced cognitive decline

The brain has a complex network of signals that activate when reading, and those signals mature along with you and your reading ability. Reading is also a way to keep your mind active and engaged as you age which could help prevent dementia and similar diseases.

Reduces stress and depression symptoms

Studies have found that just 30 minutes of reading each day can lead to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and distressed feelings. Reading books, especially fiction, provides an escape which can lessen the effects of depression, as those suffering may feel isolated or estranged from other people.

Prepares you for a good night’s sleep

Photo of a woman reading a book

Reading is excellent to incorporate into your sleeping routine, as it calms the mind and gets you ready for bed. In this case, it is best not to read on a tablet or phone because the light from the screen could keep you awake. In general, reading a print book leads to higher reading comprehension and information retention than reading material in a digital form, so it might be time to bust out that old library card!


Individuals or agencies who wish to should sign up by Friday, January 14. The challenge will run from January 17 – March 25. Participants will track the number of days they read at least 30 minutes for leisure. There will be a supplemental tracking document available on the Nebraska Public Transit Website.

At the end of the quarter, participants will be asked to email tracking materials. The participant who reads the most days out of the quarter will win a prize! If you have any questions about the challenge, please reach out to us.

Download a PDF of the wellness newsletter to print and share with your employees.

About Author

Nebraska Public Transit is a program administered by the Nebraska Department of Transportation. NDOT’s Local Assistance Division is responsible for coordinating public transportation activities in Nebraska’s 93 counties and provides technical assistance as requested. NDOT receives money from the Federal Transit Administration and state transportation funds to fulfill requirements set forth by Nebraska Revised Statute 13-1204.

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